Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Cyberpunk’ Category

Considered the starting point for the modern era of Steampunk comics, Bryan Tallbot’s 1970’s Luther Arkwright series is set in a parallel world where the English Civil War has been prolonged. Speaking of Bryan Tallbot, his Grandville series is total Steampunk. I’ll begin with it, followed by six more for Part 1. Part 2 will follow in another post later in the month with additional Steampunk Comic books.

 1. Grandville by Bryan Talbot

The author and artist, BryanTablot, was inspired by a 19th century illustrator, who drew anthropomorphized characters in costumes of the period and used the pen name J J Grandville. The story takes place in an alternate world where the British lost the Napoleonic War and a Scotland Yard Inspector, a badger, investigates the murder of a British diplomat. The events of 911 and a conspiracy theory are woven into the plot. The cast is made up of animals garbed in Victorian clothing, there are a few humans now and then, maids and bell hops, who are called doughfaces, which I find hilarious. Grandville is smart, interesting, well plotted and the art is incredible.

2. Lady Mechanika by Joe Benitez

Set in 1878, in the city of Mechanika, known as the city of tomorrow. Lady Mechanika, part human, part machine, with no memories of her past, searches for her identity. Her enemy, Blackpool, a mad scientist experiments on humans, removing body parts and replacing them with machine parts. It’s pure Steampunk and has a strong female as the lead character.

3. Ruse by Mark Waid (2nd half of the series written by Scott Beatty)

This Victorian/Mystery comic series is set in the fantasy town of Partington on planet Arcadia. Simon Archard, a Sherlock-Home-type detective uses his master mind, while  his partner, Emma Bishop, a strong woman in mind and body, does everything else required to solve crimes. The one line cover tag sums it up: He’s the World’s Greatest Detective. She’s even better. The banter between Emma and Simon is witty, wry, and hilarious. I think Ruse holds a special appeal to women and I absolutely love it.

4. Scarlet Traces by Ian Edginton, Art by D’Israeli

The premise is genius. It takes place in England in the early 1900’s, just ten years after the War of the Worlds when the Martians were defeated by microscopic germs humans had been immune to for centuries.  British scientist adapt the highly advanced Martian technology to everyday life. Carriages running on robotic spider legs like the Martian vehicles replace horses and homes are heated and lighted by a version of the Martian heat ray. Two English spies take on a case of a missing girl and uncover so much more. Stempunk fans will love the Victorian/Edwardian London setting, the utilization of alien technology, and the H. G. Wells connection, as well as the dark, dystopian tone.

5. The Clockwork Girl by Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna

This is a story of star crossed lovers from two different houses. Sounds familiar? One of the two fantastic castles is built by a grafter as a monument to the science of nature while the other is built by a tinker as a tribute to the science of technology and machines. The tinker creates a clockwork girl named Tesla. You will even find two quotes of Nikola Tesla within the story. Though different, several images of the little clockwork girl and the monster boy are reminiscent of scenes from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. As the Clockwork Girl is an obvious nod to and inspired by William Shakespeare, Nikola Tesla, and Mary Shelley it has to be good, and it is.

I fell in love with the characters, Tesla, the clockwork girl and Huxley, the monster boy. I imagine everyone who reads this will do the same. It’s a heartwarming story, brilliant in its simplicity, and it is not only suitable for adults but also children as young as grade school, say seven years old on up.

The dedication in the front of the book sums The Clockwork Girl up best, “To love and those who purse it relentlessly.” It’s a fun, fast, fulfilling read.

6. Ignition City by Warren Ellis, Art by Gianluca Pagliarani

In a dieselpunk/alternative history, washed up space heroes live in Ignition City, a rough and rowdy settlement cut off from civilization on Earth’s last spaceport. Ignition City has a strong woman for the main character, Mary Raven, a space pilot and daughter of the famous spaceman, who stopped a Martian missile plot. She heads to the spaceport to discover how her father died and who killed him. It has colorful language and a Wild West tone. There are aliens, ray guns, and the marshal flies around in a rocketeer type outfit. It’s a fun, action packed read.

7. Iron West by Doug Te Napel

A rugged, old west cowboy hero, Struck, robs banks, cheats at poker, lies to women with promises of marriage, and runs away at any hint of trouble. Yeah, this bad boy is a real charmer. Still when some old prospectors dig up robots, who in turn dig up a whole army of metal men that go on a rampage killing humans, our hero comes to the rescue of his woman and his town. Of course he has to, he’s set for a lynching and the sheriff gives him no choice but to help or to hang. Struck has some help himself from an elderly Native American gentleman and Sasquatch. Yes that’s right, Big Foot himself. This comic book is a blast, so much fun. Iron West will make your day.

You can see that though only a few comic are labeled Steampunk, several have Victorian, Dystopian, Dieselpunk, Weird West or Alternate History ascetics. We can look forward to the future of Steampunk comic books offering even more diversity and choices for readers.

With other titles to tell you about, I’ll continue the article on May 16th with more Steampunk Comics. Even with those mentioned above, there is something for everyone’s taste. Happy reading.

Maeve Alpin draws on her love of ancient times, alternative history, and happy endings to write Steampunk/Romances. Please visit her website.

Read Full Post »

Happy Thursday (or should I say “Friday Eve.”)  Alright, so you know how I love things that end in “punk” — Steampunk, Elfpunk, Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal…

Well, today we welcome author Jess C. Scoot who writes Cyberpunk Elves.  She’s going to tell us a bit about Cyberpunk.

Jess C. Scott identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on a YA “seven deadly sins” series, as well as The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy.

Pondering “Cyberpunk”

by Jess C. Scott

BOOK SUMMARY: A thieving duo’s world turns upside down when an Elven rogue uncovers the heinous dealings of a megacorporation.

My upcoming publication is an urban fantasy project titled, The Other Side of Life [Book #1 in the (Cyberpunk) Elven Trilogy].

I admit that I was running around in the beginning, blabbing (to close friends only) about how I was going to embark on a project featuring “cyberpunk elves.”

I was familiar with one of the core definitions of cyberpunk—its focus on “high tech and low life.” I was aware of the visual imagery and stylized, super-urban settings too.

Along the way (about halfway through editing the third draft—I am currently on my fourth round of revision, and might go right up to 6 or 7 before I’m satisfied), I started to wonder more about the soul of cyberpunk. I watched the cyberpunk anime series Serial Experiments Lain some years ago when I was 16 (I’m now 24). While it wasn’t my favorite anime of all time (that’d be the historical/adventure-themed Rurouni Kenshin), I distinctly remembered the feel of Lain.

Cyberpunk elves make great concept art for games and films (multi-sensory mediums). But I had to ponder on it a little bit more, since I was working on a book (and the book cover, but that was just a side issue). I didn’t want to run along with cool-sounding labels, at the expense of the actual treatment of the plot and characters. And I didn’t want the characters/plot elements to be too clichéd (both the urban fantasy and cyberpunk aspects).

So apart from some of the more obvious cyberpunk traits, such as the elves’ tech proficiency, and status as self-identified social outcasts within their Elven world—I aimed to capture “cyberpunk” via the actual interaction between the characters (amongst humans, elves, as well as elves and humans).

It’s that whole interplay between the influence of technology on the human/social aspect, and the individual’s struggle for an awareness of how he/she has been impacted by technology, which I have been focusing on (a tie-in with the love story in the plot).

The following excerpt (Nin is the Elven rogue/leader) captures some of this:

“That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…”

While I enjoy the many elements of cyberpunk, it is the deeper, reflective aspects of the genre which engage and intrigue me the most—where one doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not; where one cannot tell good from evil; where one experiences an overwhelming feeling of profound shock at the realization of something significant/important. Hence the title of this post: “Pondering ‘Cyberpunk’.”

Also, I enjoy the challenge of distilling that into a simple storytelling style that’s spiritual without being preachy.

Which reminds me of a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

–Jess C. Scott

—————

P.S. Jess is offering a free PDF copy of the novel to early reviewers (open to readers worldwide)! More details @ http://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/

Website: www.jesscscott.com
Book Site: http://www.elventrilogy.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jesscscott

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jesscscott

Read Full Post »

We all know Steampunkers party like it’s 1899.  That it’s a steam-powered world of airships, cogs, clockwork, crazy inventions, and brass goggles with plenty of room for air pirates, brass robots, and corset-and-bustle-wearing vampire hunters. 

But what’s beyond Steampunk?

Here are a few things I’ve found, though many seem to overlap.  This is by no means a definitive or exhaustive list:

Biopunk— Features those who are a product of biological experimentation, usually against the backdrop of a totalitarian government or megacorproations who are abusing science for personal gain or social control.

Clockpunk—A world where steam technology has been replaced by intricate clockwork designs. 

Cyberpunk—Near-future earth with super-high technology and the breakdown of social order, usually with dystopian/anarchist /rebellion themes featuring conflict between humans and robots/cyborgs/megacorporations. 

Cyberprep-Cyberpunk featuring a leisure-driven, happy society instead of a gritty one where technology and body modifications are used for recreation and pleasure.

Dieselpunk—The world just beyond steampunk where gas has replaced steam, steal replaced brass, it’s a world of flappers, gangsters—the roaring twenties though noir/dystopian goggles (I’ve also seen it called Oilpunk).

Gasolinepunk—The 1960’s hotrod era taken to the max.

Monsterpunk—Mechanical and steampunk elements mixed together in a monster world (or one powered by monsters).    Monster Commute is a good example: http://www.monstercommute.com

Oilpunk/Petrolpunk/Petropunk—An idealized version of an oil-based society.  Think floating cities with giant rocket engines.

Sailpunk—Where new technologies take on a nautical aesthetic, such as in the movie Treasure Planet.

 Do you have anything to add?  Elfpunk (those great rock & roll and car-racing Elf stories that take place in our world.)  Post-Cyberpunk(Cyberpunk minus the dystopia)…

Any of these genres spark any ideas (or new genres to explore)?

 I’d love to hear your ideas.   Unfortunately, I can’t find any more art deco tiaras, but I have found some cute tiny ones.  So one lucky poster will win a baby tiara and a bag of productivity pixy dust. 

 Have a great week everyone.  Check back on Friday for the winner!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: